tv After Words CSPAN April 14, 2014 12:00am-1:04am EDT
if it's a liberal idea promotes the general welfare than i'm for it. i don't don't think we have to say just because it's a liberal or conservative idea we shouldn't pay attention. >> host: in the book you write cal, you say president obama and i think you would describe him as a liberal. >> guest: no question. >> host: you say he took advantage of the human instinct for andy and greed in order to get elected. >> guest: i think the unholy trinity is in the greed and entitlement and i think we see that in his constant statements about income inequality and running down of large corporations and businesses who employ an awful lot of people who themselves pay an awful lot of taxes instead of building people up. calvin coolidge once said you don't improve the week by tearing down the strong. i want more people to be rich. i want more people to be independent. i want more families to be stable. all of these things i'm for and who can be against that? ..
boys, obama and the liberals thing that means government should be compassionate. and you're saying, no. >> guest: i'm saying the government ought to be a last resort not a first resource. government can become addictive like a drug. you rely on a government check rather than yourself inch britain -- i go the or four times a year -- the "daily mail" did a story on a family, three generations of people who had never been, at been on their version of public assistants, and theyexpect to have a job, and when they were told by david cameron's administration they should start looking for work, they war offended. that's the kind of addiction that is -- not in everybody but too many people that government brings. and so i don't question the president's faith. that not my business. i do think that in certain areas there ought to be a connection, if he reads the scriptures every day, about human life, about marriage. you can disagree and be a
christian on taxes or the defense budget and still not be in danger of going to hell, put i think there ircertain basic things that if you are a serious believer, an orthodox jew, serious christian, that scripture teaches, that ought to carry over into your policy. marrow cuomo, the former governor of new york, had a speech and caught himself in a trap where he said, i accept my church's teaching when it comes to the death penalty for convict murderers but not when he comes to abortion for thin' unborn. i fine that to be an incredible inconsistency. >> host: of course many people on the right are for the death penalty even as te'o pose abortion. they're caught in this trap. >> guest: sometimes. the test is when you have a convicted murderer, somebody has taken the life of another person, it's a well lot different morally from a
innocent unborn chilled who never had a chance to take a breath. >> host: this could keep going. the planned parenthood would talk about the life of the living woman being important. let go back to president obama as the prototype of a liberal in your bob. your opinion is that while government can be comp passionate you don't want it to be compassion nat. you want to focus on what works and, therefore, you're talking about individuals having a responsibility, or i guess if they're christian, jewish, muslim, whatever their belief, having a sense that they should be compass nat but at it up to the visit, not up to government to take care of the poor. >> guest: well, look, left me good back to another book written in the early '80s that newt gingrich hanged out to everybody in congress. called "the tragedy of american comp park -- compassion. that it looked at the major
religious enconstitutions, jewish, christian groups, who cared for the poor as a first responsibility. but in their caring for the poor, they required some kind of a response. in other words, if you were poor because you were a drug addict or alcoholic, you had to enter a program to get rid ofure addiction, and then we'll have you. but we're not going to sustain you in your bad lifestyle choices. i if you withhearing constantly babies another of wedlock with no muss, no father, we're not going to send you a check to continue to do that. we'll help you with the kid beau it wasn't their fault about we won't led you have children out of wedlock and send you a check. the whole appoint of the church institutions was to reform people so they would lead a better life that would be better for themselves. they retreated to see sidelines and have been replaced by government and at it become what i called the perversion of the 23rd som. the government is my keeper, the
health and human services deep is there comforting me with ebt cards. >> host: in looking at this, you talk about the expansion of the entitlement society, something that is a republican refrain. then i think to myself as i'm reading there's no reference to the fact we went through this horrible recession, people now call it the great recession in reference to the great depressing, and as a consequence of that, not only has there been more reliance on public safety net, including entitlements, but we have done things like bail out the rich. >> guest: i agree with that. i'm all for a safety net. i'm against a hammock. nancy pelosi said you give the democrats the power again we're going to drain the swamp. they got the power back and instead she built a hot tub. i just don't think government is the fir resource. you take a look at the recession. what was the primary reason for the recession? government was spending too much.
it allowed big companies like gm and others, because of the union pressure, to ranch -- ratchet up the benefits and entitlements they had no hope of paying because of the union pressure and strikes and you got to the opinion that gm, one example, could no longer for a, based on how many cars they were selling to pay out the benefits the crisis ensued. the same with the treasury. print more money, aren't more money, never come to the point where you say, we can't do this anymore. it's like the college student who is on the budget and they blow it in a wild living in the first weekend, and call mom and dad with a hangover on monday and say, i'm all out of money, send more. if you do, you're a fool because you're indulging the behavior not in their best interests, and that's what our federal government has done for too many years. >> host: , toy think that's right.
the cause of the great recession was we had a housing bubble and the housing bubble broke, and people on wall street were engaging in high-risk maneuvers, investment instruments that proofed to be faulty and collapse and caused wall street to implode. >> guest: i agree but let's take fannie and freddiesons you brought that up. why did the housing bubble occur and explode? because presidents over several administrations, of both parties, wanted to get up and say, under my administration, more people own their own homes than ever before. that's a very worthy goal. but if you're handing out money to people with bad credit, and who have public levels that cannot -- income levels that cannot sustain balloon mortgages, some have been reset and they can't afford it, that's the problem. too many people came to expect that they should question able to live in a is in big house when they didn't have the income to sustain it. part of this is political and part is a moral problem and part is an economic problem.
those three things -- you're absolutely right about wall street. anything saw that hbo film that portrayed all of this. everybody was living beyond their means. everybody was greedy. everybody wanted to make more and more money, and everybody was willing to cut whatever corners in order to do so. so, yes, thissen just a left, right, republican, democrat to go. as thead to sigh in world war ii, we're all in this together and all have a certain amount of culpability for what happened. >> host: the narrative you present is about government overspending, individuals making bad decisions, and in fact what you see if you look at the housing market, the housing industry and what happened there, and you look at what we know happened on wall street, it seems to me that you have a lot of very wealthy people, and people who are acting as lone wolves, individuals, i'm out for myself. i'll give to charity but i'm going to make a lot of money. a lot of that very behavior hurt
the country. >> guest: hurt the country because the government bailed out aig -- i would have let them collapse. this is one of the problems. not just indulging and subsidizing the poor, it's ill dull knowledging and subsidizing the rich. >> host: i decent see that's in any book. >> guest: i only had a certain amount of payments and the editor took it out. the aig failure under the publish administering -- one othe last interviews that president george w. bush did with me before he left office, he said at least i stuck to my principles. i said what about bailing out aig and how is that stick to go your principles? government money, and he said what would you have done? i said i would have stuck with my principles. a failure is a great teacher. i failed at things and learned a lot from failing. i've been fired. one time i had to go down to the up employment office when it was 26 weeks and not 99 weeks, as it is now, for a couple of weeks to get an unemployment check, but failure is a great teacher for
those who will learn from it. and the best thing that could have happened to wall street, the best thing that could have happened to gm in my view, is for them to have failed. and to restructure under the bankruptcy law, to re-establish themselves, not get a government handout. >> host: you understand when wall street implodes you're impacting pensions, 401ks, the entire financial structure of america would have been cratered. you understand that. that people in the congress, the bush administration, good republicans, as well as the obama administration, were told we're all in a financial calamity. we as the american people have to come together to resolve this. >> guest: here's one of the probe loams why things don't work in washington. on the left, the drill lawyers and other groups that send los of money to democratic politicians. on the right, republicans, wall street, big corporations, who send a lot of money to politicians. and when the objective is to only get re-elected as it so often is with something like a
90-some percent reelection rate in this town, when that's the objective, instead of doing the business of the people, you're going to have dysfunctional, nonworking government. so, i have become a political environmentalist, juan. i believe in recycling trash and politicians for the same reason, but a each left in one place too long begins to emet a foul smell. there's a disease in this town. come here with the highest motives and beth e best ethnics and doesn't take long to get corrupted. >> host: i think most americans agree with you and the polls indicate that. a "wall street journal" poll, 54% of americans say throw all the bums out. >> guest: don't re-elect the. >> host: that's not the reality. you do speak about term limits in this book. what works, common sense, solutions for a stronger america." and when it comes to the basis of the financial structure, the government taxes, what you say is, what has worked is always low taxes because, according to cal thomas, the gospel according
to cal, what happens is if you lower taxes, it results in more receipts for the government. in fact the government gets more money. but what about the contrary point which would be that, well, taxes are pretty low right now are in the obama administration. taxes were low under clinton administration. taxes were low under the bush administration. >> guest: and the reagan administration. it's a combination. it's not just the taxes. it's the spending. that is what has got us out of whack here. even when the republicans are in office, even when they hold all three branches of government, this spending continues increase, maybe a little less than when the democrats are in office, but let's go would took woodrow wilson. right after world war i the taxes were finally cut and we had the roaring 20s. there were other problems that led to the great depression. i understand that.
coming out of that we get to 1960 and john expend his famous detroit economic club speech about cutting tacks. there was a rush of new revenue because people were taking their money out of safe havens and bringing it back into the marketplace. as i say in the book, we have trillions of dollars sitting on the sidelines now. yes, the stock markets at an all-time high, but the hard-core unemployed and those looking for jobs for many months continue to be without work. people who want work. we saw a slight uptick on the unemployment rate because more people are starting to look for work again. slightly increased level of optimism. but, again, calvin coolidge, i want people to be taxed less so they have more and when you and i have more money to spend, we are going to spend it or invest it and that's what creates the jobs. reagan knew this. bush 43 new this, even bill clinton, who went down to speak to a group of houston business
men right after a tax increase he helped push through congress, said, you probably think i raised your taxes to much. so do i. well, there's a case another how to get it both ways. >> host: what's interesting in listening to this, you remember that under clinton, we actually had not only the same tax rate wes have now -- in fact they were higher -- but we had a surplus. >> guest: we had the surplus because the democrats, led by the president, were cutting defense and cutting spending on some of what most people would agree, particularly in the age of terrorism, and now the rise of china and iran's nuclear program, even the president now is announcing he wants to cut the military more. putin, others are getting the message the united states doesn't have the will or the wherewithal to stand against tyrants. so clinton cut the defense budget, and when you cut spending and maintain a certain level of revenue you'll get a balanced bug and probably a
surplus. that is what is happening in the state. i have a whole chapter on the states. we have indiana, louisiana, georgia, a lot of states out the who are doing fantastic jobs. many of them balanced budgets, their state constitutions required them. that's a gooding the. i wish we could have that on the federal level. also because of their policies inch indiana, the star state in my view, of the country, they send people checks when they have enough money. this is an amazing thing to me. they say, well, don't need all this money. the federal government, the word guess out, if you haven't spend it -- spend it all because your budget might be cut next year. in indiana they send you a check. what a remarkable thing. >> host: that brings to us another topic you address, which is big government. and you quote rush limbaugh extensively with regard to big government is terrible and then you good to the federalist papers and all the rest. but then you have to somehow
explain to me, well, then how is it you can say but social security, medicare, these things that our seniors rely on, that's a good thing, clearly you're a big fan of defense spending and that's -- guess what, the founding fathers were not about international use of our military over seas. they didn't want they. >> guest: to mass jefferson would find that difficult. he sent marines to the barbary coast. >> guest: there's a strain of that in the country. let talk about defense. there are a lot of weapon systems and planes and ships the military have said they don't want and don't need, and, yet, because those things are built in the strict of congressman so and so, they get built knee because it makes him or her look good, creates more jobs. this is the kind of wasteful spending i'm talking about and
it's both republican and democrat. they're both cup panel. we need something akin to at the grace commission during the reagan administration temperature the black commission, the base re-alignment and closing commission, during the clinton administration. an outside group with integrity, former members of congress, no current elected politicians, to come in and do a complete audit of government from top to bottom. every agency of government has a piece of legislation or a charter that createes it. it has a purpose. itself it's not fulfilling that purpose, or not doing it within reasonable budget, it should be cut or eliminated. let's just take head start. came in with the highest motivation. i didn't know this until i researched this, there are now three head starts, early head standard, enhanced head start, and regular head start. why do we have the eye two in because the first one wasn't working wife. the third one in the second one wasn't working, the hair tan foundation has done a tremendous become on this, on mental social
programs that don't work. they found that by the time a child who goes through one of these head start programs is in the fifth grade all of the benefits that might have accrued in the first feweers of his or her life are gone. "usa today" had a recent loadedded toker toal saying head start at best is meet oak -- mediocre. social security was expend ode to be a safety net, an numberrans program, but we added bell weather whistles on to it, huge christmas tree to mix a metaphor, and it's become dysfunctional and going to break, same with medicare. the initial idea was a begun but politicians add stuff on and it becomes dysfunctional. >> host: this brings to us one of the interesting chapters in the book about education. because basically you're saying,
there's always talking about people who know too little who rely on religion, evangelicals do nothing, no nothing voters and the like, and cal thomas comes out and says, why do you send kids off to these big name schools, harvard, yale, princeton, stanford, you say, smart parents even if they're called do-nothing, shouldn't be sending the kids to those schools. >> host: let's look at the recent debay that is now going on and continuing between governor andrew cuomo of new york the new york city mayor bill depalacios over charter coulds. we know during hi campaign for major the mayor said he was going to end charter schools and has this major rivalry with this mom in new york who is a big propen anyone of them. andrew cuomo -- a remarkable speech. i of you showed me the words and didn't tell me who said it, would say it was deliver by a
conservative republican. he said we spend more money in new york state per capita unanimous anywhere necessary the nation but yet number 32 in the nation. he is saying we got to have the school choice in this area. so what i'm saying in the book -- and going beyond the universities -- is that some of my liberal friends are for choice on abortion are against choice when it comes to public schools and especially for poor and minority children. we have a reversal of george wallace standing in the schoolhouse door to keep african-americans out, more than 50 years ago. we now have people standing in the schoolhouse door, the poor schools, to keep children in, when we all know that a good education is a ticket to a child's success and competition, whether it's package delivery or restaurants, improves everyone, and so all i'm saying is, let's have choice on education. let's let parents decide which
school, public, private, religious, is best for their kid and let's also tell parents if you don't want your kids to have their faith and the real history of this country undermined, don't send them to colleges and universities that do that. >> host: that's why you're saying don't send your kids to the best colleges in america. in fact -- well, best colleges in terms of the competitive marketplace where you see people with money, and advantage, send their children. they send them to stanford and harvard. but 'er saying here, den send them because you believe -- i think you came to it at the end of what you just said -- those schools challenge some of the precepts of religious faith -- >> guest: not just religious faith gut the history of our country. i just hear on a talk radio station recently about this woman called in and her public school child is getting some kind of indoctrination about the pilgrims and the early colonists, that somehow the native americans were bucolic people who were at peace with.
thes and each other and these horrible white europeans invaded and gave them syphilis and gonorrhea and stole their corn and killed them off and all of this other stuff and this is the kind of stuff that it is being caught increasingly in a government school system. most parents don't hear about it. it's not always in the textbooks but in some. we are living in an education model created in the 19th 19th century. i'm all for diversity. people of different backgrounds, religions, race, and all that, coming to a central unit to be talk something. it's a very good thing. however, what are they being taught? and if it violates a significant -- the faith and the values and the beliefs of the significant number of people who are paying through their taxes for this, they ought to be able to have the choice of sending their child to another school, public, private, religious, that more reflecks those views, -- reflects those views and that's
going improve the public schools because, like anything else -- >> host: let's just take a moment here and say, you mean, challenging orthodoxies is bad in your view? and having those children learn how to think critically? >> guest: i think you can say learn to think critically. i'm not thinking critically all the time. i'm exposed to all kinds of ideases no not only in the newspapers for which i write but the television on which i appear and billboards. but when you have a child, you have to train them properly. you have to get them to the point where they can make critical decisions. you have to have a certain foundation, a belief, and purpose for living, and am i just here to get aned of indication to make money to buy stuff? or die need a spiritual and moral dimension to buttress that. i think that's what's is missing in government schools. >> host: harvard is not a government stool. >> guest: i'm talking about public school do. >> host: you said in your oak --
>> guest: harvard, dartmouth, yale, princeton, founded on biblical principles, some to train preachers or missionaries. now all of it's gone. i remember him saying it, when pussy -- pucy said the least to be expected of a harvard graduate was to say the name of god without embarrass. >> host: we'll be right back with cal thomas. his new book "what works: men sense solutions for a stronger america." >> host: we're back with cal thomas, the author of a new become, what works, comment sense solution for a stronger america. cal, at the end of the book you
write, i'm quoting here, let's have the equivalent of testimony time in church where we can start show kaying people who on live in poverty and despair, now self-sufficient because they embrace the conservative and historically sound principles of -- kansas. kansas. inspiration followed by motivation. first, explain, kansas? >> guest: i made a speech which is reproduced in the book, the kansas chamber of commerce, 18 months or so ago, and i think sam brownback, former united states senator from kansas, now governor of the state, has created some tremendous business friendly programs there that are increasing employment and lowering taxes and kansas is even talking about eliminating state income taxes amount number of states are doing that. louisiana is another. i think seven or eight states now do not have a state income tax. years ago it was only two. north carolina and florida.
they still don't. many are realizing that this becomes an inhibitor to prosperity. i do say -- i firm hi believe and i've applied it in my only life, inspiration, followed by motivation, followed by perspiration, improves a life. the whole metaphor of testimony time in church is meant to convey the attitude, i once was blind but now i see. i grew up poor but now i'm a ceo. take dr. bern ben carson, the former chairman of pediatric surgery in johns hopkins. a perfect example our people can overcome dire circumstances. grew up in inner city detroit, a horrible time. single mother raised he and his brother, et cetera, et cetera. we don't tell those kinds of stories in america. merrers a story-telling nation. >> host: in the book you have an entire section of people who would give this testimony and you tell their stories.
so, rather than have me pick out one or two why don't you, as the author, pick out one or two and the at the story. >> guest: i talk about ben carson johnny ericson, had an accident when she was 17 years old, wading, and paraplegic, and struggled with despair and the meaning of life. taught herself to paint by sticking a pain brush in her teeth and has created a lot of wonderful things. works with handicapped people. was wind -- pushed strongly the americans with disables hack and it's been an inprecision to millions including people who do not have physical challenges. a couple of african people who grow up in horrible circumstances you couldn't even imagine if you were writing a work of fiction, and yet they managed to overcome and come to america where they sought tub. the point of thesters -- paul harvey idea to do them.
you would say, okay, if you think you had a hard life and difficulty. let me tell you about somebody else and who they overcame. we're not just going to sing the song. we're going to tell you. and i go become and tell the story of the leslie stall did this piece in a harlem housing project in new york. all minorities, hard-core unemployed people who never had a job or only hamburger flippers working for minimum wage. theying to people how to dress for a job interview, how to look a spree pecktive employer in the eye and shaking hands, they were never taught this. they followed one african-american woman up to a job interview. she applied all the things and came out and was in tears because she got the job. for the first time in her life she felt she had value. nobody told her this before. you're black, you're female, you live in the get to, you're life
is going to belows be lousy, slow for democrats. if we can have more inspiration and people telling how they overcame, we're going to spine an awful lot of people. america has awful been a story-telling nation. we dent tell stories anymore. >> host: is that a dodge from the fact there's growing unequal in terms of incomes and earnings in our country? when you look at the harsh reality you see the top one percent, have taken in a disproportionate -- wild by disproportionate share of increases in wealth in the country over the last ten years, and the consequence has been a declining middle class, incareering numbers of people in poverty, and when you hold occupy exceptional people and say, this person did it, so you can do it, too, it's fine. that really runs counter to what we see as the larger structural issues in the society. >> guest: president obama and some of the democrats have been
talking a lot about income inequality, and awrote a column in which i stated i had a deep dark secret i had hidden from public view for many years and was very imbare'sing for me to go public with it but i felt it was necessary for me to do and i said i suffer from income inequal. it's true, juan. always been people who made more money than i. you probably make more money than i do. but it doesn't affect me. the fact you make two dollars and i make one dollar doesn't mean you owe me 50-cents. it means i come to you to find out you you mad the two dollars. income isn't fixed for erv for life. they're only one bell of food and i take more than you, that might not be fair. but if i give you a recipe or ask the cook to bring in more food, that's fair. so the fact donald trump makes more than i do has nothing to do
with my income level. i used to interview wealthy and successful people. i didn't envy them. i said, where died you good to school, what is you philosophy of life? i might want to be like you. now the attitude, you make more than me, it's not fire, and i'll drag you down. are the poor people better off because of higher taxes? getting a direct check if donald trump or ted turner or you or me pays more taxes? no. they're not improving their lives. they're not saying, you know, for three years i got this government welfare check and now i'm ceo of my company. you never hear that. >> host: i'm saying to you, you have a situation where the question is, maximum amazing opportunity for all, anden you look at the realities of the income distribution charts in the country now, they're becoming -- swinging wildly out of proportion in terms of who is gaining wealth and opportunity even in terms of those schools you scorn, the children that get to go there tend to be the children of the rich, the rich are getting more and more of our
money. you looked at wall street. the big returns are on wall street. so, it sounds as if you're being indifferent to people who are struggling to get themselves out of poverty and on to the ladder of upward mobile. >> guest: i used to be poor. when i was in the army i made $99 a month and i was working in new york city. no car, young married. took the subway, it was ten cents 'when it went 'to 15 cents people yelled and scream how poor people could afford it. i never enveried people. i said i'm going to be better some day. i'm going to keep working at it. i was 37 years old making $25,000 a year, and still struggling, taking public transportation to work. we had one car. >> host: cal. sounds la i can you celebrating individual virtue -- >> guest: what what america is all about. >> host: even when somebody is ripping off the system, causing wall street to collapse, you say, ignore that.
>> guest: no. didn't say that. rewind the tape. you'll see i said that i didn't think aig and these others should have been bailed out with tax marry money. -- taxpayer money. they should have been allowed to fail. the people responsible for the recession should paid the biggest price. know the i investors or employee. they've didn't go to jail and a lot of them didn't, they should be forced to pay back the people they injured. when -- >> host: but if they had no money and were going to collapse the entire american economic system if you roll back the tape i said that -- i come back the idea you don't focus on the idea of what we as an american people can do to try to correct some of the flaws in the way we live. instead your position, and the position of the book is, correcting human mistakes is a game. you're not going to do it. >> guest: juan, government cannot force me to stay married
to my wife. to be an example to my children. to have honesty and integrity in my professional life. those are moral and spiritual issues that come from another place. government can impose certain penalties if i break certain laws, but it can't force me to be moral and virtues, not that i am. i'm just saying. so i'm saying, -- let me use this. a catholic -- bishop fulton sheen who stood up at the 1979 national prayer breakfast in washington and asked the question: how too we define a football field? by its boundaries. now, we have exoded our boundaries in every area, morally, relationally, sexually, publicly, and we wonder why we have he's problems? huge numbers of incurable stds, babies born out of wedlock, enormous abortion rates-over 80% of black babies
in new york are aborted. jesse jackson used to say this was the white map's answer to the welfare problem -- >> host: that's not true. >> guest: what. >> host: what is true -- 80%,marks 80% of the abortions in new york city are among minorities, so that's blacks, hispanics, asias -- >> guest: that's fine. >> host: also know 70% of the population is minorities so it's not as wild by disproportionate. >> guest: the point is we're cheapening life, and when you have something like hillary care during the clinton administration, now obamacare, sarah palin talked about death panels and was widely ridiculed. but this happened in britain do. >> host: she was talk can about obamacare? there's a chapter in my book called, cure versus care. this may surprise you. i'm all for government spending more money to find cures. if we could find a cure to alzheimer's disease, human aflix of the baby-boomers, you're going to save a whole lot of
money from having to treat people with alzheimer's, and so many other diseases. so i'm for investing as much money as possible in fining cures for these things. but you have -- as i started to say about the nhs and great britain, you're now seeing people on panels -- call them whatever you like -- denying people care and surgery because it costs too much or they're too old or they're not contributing enough to the government. that i believe is what is coming here, and the reason it's coming here is because life has been cheapened at one level, the unborn, and now the challenge is at the other level, the elderly, infirm, instant wanted. it's coming. >> host: win of the heroes you cite in your become is none other than john calvin thomas. so, your story is, for you, an example of this virtue. explain. >> guest: i was very fortunate.
i had two parents who stayed married. i had a brother who died a year and a half ago of -- he had down syndrome at the time when he was born in 1950. children like that were either -- were institutionalized and not expected to live beyond their 20s. my parents said we're not going to do that, and so he lived to be 60. and that was an example of compassion that i carry with me to this day. my compassion is not just about giving a handout. at it about giving a hand up. i am not going to tell you all the people i work with and the things i've done for people because that would sound self-serving. but you'd be surprised a lot of things i do for people. monetarily, real residentially d eyes and the gel is to become independent and functioning individuals, not just to say, o, there's a guy with a sign on the side of the road. i'll give million a few bucks so
he can do whatever he wants with it. you stop and roll down the window and says, says we work for toad -- doesn't sat say that anymore. people say, i have a job. want to cut my lawn? no at it easier to get the money. i think we have redefined compassion, and my store, while i was very fortunate to grow up in a two-parent home, i worked very hard. when i flunked out of come my first year, my father called me in and said, i'm happy to support you all these years but if you go back you're going to pay your own way. that was cruel? no. when pay mid own way i got serious and my grades went up because it was my money. today's attitude would be he flunked out of come. let's send him a check. lit him back in. so that taught me a great lesson. failure is a wonderful thing. if you learn from it. of you just accept the idea of victimhood -- a quote from romer ailes, our boss another fox news, spoke to the horatio
algier society. you've think of yourself as a victim you'll always be a victim but if you think of yourself as a success, eventually you will be one itch love that attitude. >> host: but in your story, you talk about having been turned down by many newspapers, as you desire to write a column. then here comes one editor who says, "the los angeles times," let's give him a chance. >> guest: i first met tom johnson and i was a copy boy, and found him to be very engauging and hoped he did the same -- find the same in me. years later i wrote a column as a lark. ite ripped this book bat ven soreship -- send shoreship from he letter and i wrote a column and i send it off to "the new york times" and they prisoned it. still frame on my wall as historical document, and then i root another one of in the
"washington post" prisonedded the and then "los angeles times" and "usa today," and i contacted these cindy cats -- my background was broadcasting, not newspapers. they all turned me down. i. tom was the publisher of "the los angeles times" and i said, tom, i think this is a dearth of good conservative commentary, particularly on social and cultural issues that get people's attention. he said you may be right. next time you come to l.a. let me know and i will set up a meeting with cindy cat people. so i went out there comet with them and they miraculously offer met me the chance to do two columns a week, and in april it will be 30 years and it was among if not the top send indicate it columns in america. i never took no for an answer. i never took rejection as the final word, and there's an old song that barbara cook sings, it's not where you start, it's where you finish. >> host: in fact you mention in
what works, that johnson is a liberal. >> guest: a liberal democrat but a real committed to diversiti' pluralism. i dedicated the become him bus he opened the door for me mitchell life changed because of him. he is an honest, wonderful man. i recently had dinner with he and his wife. this is what has happened, juan. i mention this in the book. nobody knows anybody anymore in washington especially. we're all labeled, liberal, conservative -- yes, die it for communication. all parts of drowns, african-american, latino, women, men, gay, straight, whatever it is, so we're all identified by labels, and nobody gets to know each oomph it's like bob beckle and i become very close personal friends. i know's his family life, his kids, his desires, frustrations, and he knows about mine, because we look beyond the labels. but there's a lot of money and political power in keeping us divided, juan. solutions to problems hurts
fundraising. i asked a fundraiser years nothing my naivete. how come you never send out a positive word on what you do with people's donations. he said how can you races money on a positive? we're no longer the united states of america we're we divided states of groups, and that's what is really harming us. >> host: this become is in fact direct at one of those niche audiences, the hard right. >> guest: i hope not. i read a lot of liberals. i have many, many liberal friends who are authors and columnists. i pay attention and i grant that -- i say, look, if it's a liberal idea, living up to its established reason for being, its charter, it's authorized legislation, i'm for it. if it's doing people good and promoting the general welfare, i'm for it. government is not evil. government is good if it functions within its boundaries. but we exceeded the the
boundaries and government is dysfunctional. >> host: when i say the become is part of the niche argument, the fragmented america you lament. you have a forward i sean hannity you quote limbaugh you note that mark levin -- these are people that are cited in the book and there are no liberal ideas, including social security you say you like or medicare. they're not cited here. >> this is a counterarguement to much of the problem we're facing. if i thought that government was working well, if i thought it was functioning well and promoting the general well fir, if i thought the tenth amendment was being lived under, half all rights not specifically delegated to the federal government will be reserved for the states and the people, if i believed in all of that i wouldn't have even wherein the become. this is a counterargument to what the left is saying about government is the solution to all of our problems. if you tune into john stossel's
show, he deconstructs all of these government programs and mostly the attitude that people turn to government first. it's like a religious cult, juan. that no matter the proof that the belief is incorrect, physical proof, people continue to believe in it. and i think government is replaced god. we used to turn to god. now we turn to government as our god. >> host: you say liberals turn to government even though clinton said, era of big government is over. >> guest: he said that. >> host: and you hear obama saying, we have to do more in terms of building up family and individual responsibility. >> guest: i'm all for that. talk is cheap. >> host: i'm just saying you don't -- in other words, the niche audience is the conservative, hard right, maybe as you experience evangelical audience. >> guest: i dent see myself as hard right. we're using labels here. you want to ask me one of my favorite writers? frank rich, who wrote brilliant
column for the anytime anytime did i -- for "the new york times." i think he's one hoff my favorite columnists. i like to say i read two things, my bible and in the "new york times" so i know what each side is doing. i have friends on all sides. this is a counterargument. it's like medicine that doesn't taste good. might not like it but it's good for you. read the book, understand the arguments, sure, pick it apart if you think i'm wrong but give in the evidence why it's wrong. tell me why three head start programs aren't producing what they should tell me why there are over 40 different his rays programs in -- literacy programs in the federal government that counter one soot. why so much duplication in federal government of programs, especially when none of them seem be to working and producing the desired results? these why i want another commission to go through top to bottom -- i don't care if it's
liberal or conservative -- let's take the abstinence education. this was big for the evangelical right. teach kids they ought to be very gyps until they be married. that's noble but the program isn't working, so if it's not working, get rid of it and that's a conservative program. >> host: that's not in the book. >> guest: i didn't put everything in there. >> host: the finger is pointing at the liberals. that's why i they -- >> guest: they're the party of government and have been at it longer. conservatives want to but government back within its boundaries. it's like a rhythm when it's in boundaries it's wonderful, but when there's a flood at it destroys properties and sometimes lives. >> host: when we think about solutions and looking back to traditions and traditional america and looking to god in the evangelical sense of god as directing us all in every moment, almost predestination,
the question then becomes, oh, how does cal thomas think about the rising number of minorities in america or now we see more and more muslims in america? in the book, it done seem like you have a very welcoming attitude towards the muslim community. >> guest: well, look, this is a nation that began on the issue of religious freedom. those who came from england did not want a state church and i don't want one. i don't want the government telling me how to worship, what to worship, or if to worship. i'm all for that. i think if you're going to be part of america and come from another country, even a confident religious background, then you have to be part of that pluralism. you can make your case in the public square for your belief system put i don't think you can impose all of it through government, and that includes my point of view, my world view, the christian world view, on everybody who done agree with it. i think these things are won out
in the marketplace. they certainly were in civil rights, and dr. king and ralph abernathy and others who i was fortunate enough to be a contemporary of. is went the "i have a dream speech" change my thinking on race because i didn't know any african-american people other than the mades that my parents employed until i started playing basketball. i knew about them. i didn't know anyone as fellow human being. so, i think -- i'm all for muslims in the country, jews, christians, unbelievers and the rest. i think there's a great fear, particularly among radical islam, that there's spirit people who want to infiltrate us and underminus and we saw that at 9/11. they took the training in florida on how to fly airplanes, they weren't discriminal named against. they were given the same lessons. so we have to be careful and the
radical islamists come out of background taught by the imams they're god wants people who don't believe as they do dead. i'm all for people having freedom to not agree with my'll or world view. i found a lot of the extremists within that religion don't and have a responsibility to speak up and isolate those people who don't -- who feel at that time way. >> host: discouraged view about what muslims in america are up to and the question is how would you deal with it? the government has the primary responsibility and they're monitoring the more radical mosques. tony blair when he was prime minister of england, trade to deport those who were preaching hate from the mosques, not just hate but insurrection, wanted to bring downing the british government and felled their -- felt their god commended them to
do so. he tried to deport those, specially extremists who killed people. the subway bombing in britain, and -- but he was constrained by their version of the aclu, and i think it came to the point he was unable to deport any of them. we want everybody to come to america under the law and in an orderly fashion put we want to -- used to have people, the irish, the pols, the germans, who came and assimilated. the wanted their children to learn english, they loved america. now we're all hive -- hive nateed americans. whoopi goldberg said aim momentum an african-american. i'm an american. she gets it. but we're all dashed. >> when it. >> host: when it comes to the simple rights movement and the distinction between dr. king and jesse jackson and al sharpton,
the different reverend of the different eras, but you acknowledge that, you know what, if you go back the founders who embraced slavery in the constitution, look at the most of the history of the country where legal segregation was the law, you say, well, that's wrong, but change was needed, but in most other areas you don't embrace change and you won't -- don't embrace working together to improve the squall of our life. >> guest: not all of the founders owned slaves and not all of them were for slavery. but like mr. lincoln said almost 100 years later, if it required preserving slavery in order to save the union, he was in favor of plea serving slavery. if emancipation would preserve the union, he would be for emancipation, and the founders, as you know, from studying history, juan, were at a moment -- and this wasn't the only issue.
there was the power of the states and -- >> host: i understand that. my point is, signed the documents -- >> guest: put, look, dr. king referred -- so did lincoln -- referred back to those founding documents, particularly that greatest phrase ever written about human freedom. all men are created equal, and endowed by their creator. they understood that rights in order to be protected from government had to be put outside the reach of government. and dipping appealed to that. >> host: what i'm talking about is it in book in terms of trying to say their common sense solutions that predate all of these -- >> guest: yes, of course. >> host: so does slavery. so does oppression of women. >> guest: well, look, we can go on for an hour about that. but slavery, denial of civil rights, are moral issues primarily. yes, lyndon johnson particulars
his everlasting credit, through voting rights and open housing, helped force that particular part of the country -- not just the south. you hat south boston and riots, race riots there, too. so wasn't just a southern thing -- into an attitude and with a pictures on television, and i was working during that period for nbc, and i was with reporters, including a guy named charles quinn who went with the freedom riders, put film on the air, said help sear the conscience of the american people. this is wrong morally that black people were entitiled to the same rights for lunch counters, restrooms, jobs, housing, not bus the government was going to give it to them or should, but because they enjoyed the same inalienable rights as any other human being. >> host: you understand government had tone force equal dream -- >> guest: that's try. >> host: not enforce segregation
stocker government was an important instrument. >> guest: i don't want to be misunderstood. not throwing the baby out with the bath water. government need to tree strain what the theologians call sinful people who will not be constrained bay higher power. government is a bib been electrically established institution bat has its limitations. the founders wanted government to be restrained and within boundaries so the people would be unlimited. that's why the preamble starts, we, the people, not, you, the government. >> host: cal thomas thank you for coming. the new book is called "what porks: common sense solutions for a stronger america" and you'll notice on the cover cal as a groundhog over his left showered and that's because he says we keep ignoring the solutions of our forefathers. >> guest: repeating the same thing like the movie groundhog day. >> host: thank you for joining
us. >> next, book tv attended a reception for cal thomas. he is celebrating 30 years as a syndicated columnist. the signed books and chatted with guests. >> my favorite guy so far. who is this for? >> ford and kay. >> my girlfriend. >> how very nice. a way to make points. where do they live? >> springfield, virginia. >> oh, yeah. down the road a bit. >> any girlfriend is a liberal. >> really. you'll bring her around. >> how about this one? >> pat and wayne.
>> wayne? >> yes, sir. tell me what you do. >> i work in the department of defense. i am a lee liaison between the art department -- they need somebody -- you take responsibility. >> yes, sir. >> this one? >> paul. you can write something, too. >> right. the government is not paying for these, are they? >> no. >> just thought i'd ask. thank you very much good to meet you. thanks. >> look at that. hey. who is this for? >> john,. >> i always ask even the simplest names. if i don't it's always something else, like smith, you think, right? , spelled to many ways. how can you get money out of politics unless you reduce the power of the federal government
first? >> you're never going to get it out. the opinion is to bring it to some kind of control. look, look at the amount of -- the last election, all of the expenses primaries, conventions, the -- $7 billion. now, come on. and you have really good people who don't want to run for office for a whole bunch of reasons. maybe a bad date in high school and the on signature will find her and she'll turn you interest a stalker or something. so we need to get more people and give them a reason to lead and be a member of congress or run for president. the people that can really fix things right-hand run -- aren't running for a whole bunch of reasons and one of the major ones is how much money you have to raise and you sell your soul. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much. i appreciate it. hi. haeger, how are you doing? thank you for -- yesterday
was -- that was a lot of fun. >> thank you. >> we went from show tunes to serious stuff. >> exactly. that's my fiancee. >> hi, derrick. how are you doing? >> radio host in baltimore. >> great station. thank you. hope you enjoy it. oh, great, we're doing something on -- >> yes. >> a lot of competition. >> doing some in ball more. who is this for? >> for in the -- just make two of them with signatures and give them away to listeners. >> very nice. somebody feels it's valuable enough to phone in and get one. >> i do a tribute every couple of weeks. >> i hope my book never winds up -- >> thanks, derrick mitchell best friend's mother has never spelled my name right and never spelledded wrong the same way two types in a row.
you have a winner there in heather from what i can see. enjoy it. thank you very much. i appreciate it. all the best to you. >> thank you. hey, joe. >> just got to chapter five. you're a fast reader. >> can't wait to read chapter five. should tell c-span what that means. we lost mickey rooney. >> i know. the story in the daily mail is very sad. the whole elder abuse thing is horrible. >> i only knew that -- i don't -- >> you were there at the dinner when he spoke in 2008. >> right. gunner amazing. thank you, joe. enjoy it. thank you for coming it. appreciate it. ...
i think we want it back this year. it's going to be fun. it's always good to. i love those people with multiple books. [inaudible] logan? that's a cool name. >> my dad picked it out for me. >> some people say i was watching a movie. are you a student? >> yes. [inaudible] >> [inaudible] >> if you like the book and have time to read it. >> giveand give me the names ani will sign them.